The Conference of Bishops of the ELCA met at the Lutheran Center Sept. 26–Sept. 30 under a theme from 2 Corinthians: “We have this treasure in clay jars.” The conference welcomed 13 new bishops elected since the last conference meeting in March.

“Thanks to the work of the Holy Spirit and the wisdom of God’s people, the Conference of Bishops is now more diverse in more ways than it has ever been,” said William O. Gafkjen, bishop of the ELCA Indiana-Kentucky Synod and chair of the conference. “This is such an important gift, both because of the particular gifts and experiences each member of the conference brings and because it uncovers assumptions, challenges disparities and inequities, and calls for repentance and transformation in a church unaccustomed to such blessed diversity.”

During the meeting, ELCA Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton and the conference issued a letter to President Trump urging him to restore funding to the Augusta Victoria Hospital and the other hospitals in East Jerusalem. The conference also voted to recommend that the Church Council work in new and concrete ways to give priority to this church’s response to the global crisis of climate change. And they voted to commend the “Memorandum of Mutual Recognition of Relations of Full Communion” for adoption by the Church Council at the upcoming meeting.

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